Second stimulus check: Trump and Senate’s COVID results may shift IRS’ payment timeline – CNET


Did you know? Different groups will get their stimulus checks at different times.

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As COVID-19 spreads among the GOP — including Republican senators and President Donald Trump — the timeline to pass legislation for a new relief package is in question. As of Sunday evening, negotiations still have forward momentum and there’s a commitment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to recall their chambers, currently in recess, to vote on a final bill.

new coronavirus relief package that includes a second stimulus check and other benefits is considered critical in providing financial aid for large and small businesses, ongoing coronavirus testing and individuals as a result of the ongoing pandemic

It’s suggested that Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin might agree on a stimulus package by mid-week, The Washington Post reported. McConnell has suspended Senate votes until Oct. 19, but he would give senators 24-hours notice to return in person for a vote if a new relief bill is ready in the next two weeks, he said.

“We’re making progress,” Pelosi told Face the Nation on Sunday. Asked if an agreement can be reached in the coming week, she said, “It just depends on if they understand what we have to do to crush the virus.”

A final bill would still need the president’s signature to become law — or it would need to be signed by Vice President Mike Pence’s, if Trump were incapacitated. The president may be discharged from Walter Reed Hospital to return to recuperate at the White House as soon as Monday, Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said Sunday.

The situation is ever-changing, but here’s our best guess when the IRS could send the stimulus payments, when and if new legislation passes both the Senate and the House — including who would get them first. You can estimate the size of your check with our stimulus calculator. This story updates often.

When the IRS could send the first checks — four scenarios

When and if another stimulus check happens, Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to process the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said.

We’ve speculated about potential dates based on the current situation in Washington. Not everyone will get a payment at the same time. Keep reading to see how the different priority groups shake out.

Note that, even if an agreement is reached this week, it will still take time to hash out the details and draft new legislation to prepare for a vote, first in one chamber (the House, for example) and then in the other.

Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
House passes final bill Oct. 13 (Oct. 12 is Columbus Day) Oct. 19 Dec. 1 Dec. 7
Senate passes final bill Oct. 14 Oct. 20 Dec. 2 Dec. 8
President signs Oct. 15 Oct. 21 Dec. 3 Dec. 9
First direct deposit sent Week of Oct. 22 Week of Oct. 26 Week of Dec. 7 Week of Dec. 14
First paper checks sent Week of Nov. 2 (Day before Election 2020) Week of Nov. 9 Week of Dec. 14 Week of Dec. 21
First EIP cards sent Week of Nov. 23 Week of Nov. 30 Week of Jan. 11 Week of Jan. 18

Why some people will get their checks faster than others

The IRS has so far sent money to at least 160 million people three different ways, starting with people who filed for direct deposit. Some people with more complicated scenarios are still waiting for their checks or even for catch-up payments. This shakes out into a de facto priority order that could lead some to receive their checks days or even weeks sooner than others. We expect the IRS would adopt roughly the same system for sending out the second stimulus check.

Direct deposit is fastest: People who already have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS or who register it when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive their stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first check faster.

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Next stimulus checks: What to expect


Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received checks in the first week, though not always the first day.

People who get paper checks: The IRS began to mail these about a week later to people without direct deposit data on file. 

EIP card recipients: Economic Impact Payment debit cards are prepaid Visa cards that the IRS sent to around 4 million people starting in mid-May. If the IRS follows the same payment priority order, this group could begin to see their checks weeks after the first direct deposit transfers go out.

Last group: People who received checks after June are still waiting to receive their stimulus payment or did not know they need to complete an extra step. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who weren’t part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.

What’s the longest I could wait for a check?

While we expect most people to get their money sooner, if the first round is any indication, it could still take months for the IRS to send all the checks. Six months after the first stimulus payments went out, the federal agency is still trying to track down millions of people who may be owed money.

And even with the experience of processing roughly 160 million payments in the IRS’ back pocket, some people would probably need to clear a few hurdles to receive their money. Here are common roadbumps that held up the first stimulus check.


There’s hope that the IRS could speed up delivery of a second check, if it’s authorized.

Angela Lang/CNET

A few more resources to help

If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

And here are resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget.